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Shareholders approve $7.2 billion sale of Nokia’s handset division to Microsoft

Shareholders approve $7.2 billion sale of Nokia's handset division to Microsoft

At an EGM in Helsinki, Nokia shareholders today approved the sale of its devices and services business to Microsoft. The deal sees Microsoft paying $7.2 billion “to acquire substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.”

While the deal is not expected to be fully completed until some time in the first quarter of 2014, it brings to an end discussions that first came about back in September. The result of the vote is very much in line with what was expected as share prices have steadily increased since news of the deal was first announced.

The handset branch of Nokia has been a drain on funds for the Finnish company, and the cash from Microsoft gives a much needed boost to the coffers. Microsoft will be hopefully it can turn around the fortunes of the division and start to generate profit from handsets.

Precise details about the voting numbers from shareholders have not yet been revealed, but Times journalist Nic Fildes tweeted that 99% of preregistered votes — which amounted to 78% of those eligible to vote — were in favor of approving the deal.

There are intriguing times ahead, and it will be interesting to see what Microsoft is able to do with its latest purchase.

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